Research seminar: Decline of the UK coalfields and the road to Brexit
Prof Ray Hudson,University of Durham
Thursday 4th October at 4pm, Room E003, Newman Building
The Brexit referendum saw the British coalfields voting to leave the EU, somewhat surprisingly as the EU had been the main source of funding for coalfields’ regeneration programmes. Drawing primarily on 40 years of detailed research on two coalfields – Durham and south Wales – I will offer an alternative interpretation as to the determinants of the vote. Rather than a vote against Europe, it was more an expression of disillusionment with the way in which the coal industry and the coalfields, once pivotal to the growth of capitalism in Britain and then to the post-war social democratic settlement, had become marginalised and ignored in the concerns of successive governments. The Brexit vote provided a unique opportunity to express this disillusionment not so much with individual parties or governments but rather with the political system - with of course unanticipated consequences.
Staff, students and visitors welcome.